Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

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Wind Power in the UK (PDF). - Sustainable Development Commission

4 Costs and benefits of windTable 8: Electricity fuel source cost projections for 2020 47Technology Cost in 2020 Confidence inestimateCost trends to 2050Conventional FuelsCoal (IGCC xvi )3.0 – 3.5 p/kWhModerateDecreaseGas (CCGT)2.0 – 2.3 p/kWhHighLimited decreaseFossil generation with CO2capture & sequestration3.0 – 4.5 p/kWhModerateUncertainLarge CHP (gas)Under 2 p/kWhHighLimited decreaseMicro CHP (gas)2.5 – 3.5 p/kWhModerateSustained decreaseNuclear3.0 – 4.0 p/kWhModerateDecreaseRenewablesOnshore wind1.5 – 2.5 p/kWhHighLimited decreaseOffshore wind2.0 – 3.0 p/kWhModerateDecreaseEnergy crops2.5 – 4.0 p/kWhModerateDecreaseWave3 – 6 p/kWhLowUncertainSolar photovoltaics10 – 16 p/kWhHighSustained decreaseOf course, projections from other studies mayoffer conflicting views. The aim of presentingthis information is to show the background tocurrent UK energy policy – however, asubstantial body of research went into theseprojections, and they are well respected.4.9 Drawing conclusionsComparing cost estimationsThis section has presented three main sets ofinformation for the cost of wind energy, all ofwhich differ in what they are attempting toshow.Firstly, the generated cost of wind is quiteaccurately known from a number of studies, andwould seem to be around 3.2p/kWh for onshorewind energy and 5.5p/kWh for offshore. Thisrepresents a premium over new CCGT gas-firedplant (currently at about 3.0p/kWh), and is thejustification for the Government’s supportmechanisms, which help to fill the gap andmake wind power developments viable. There isgood reason to believe that these generationcosts will fall over time as ‘learning curve’effects, innovation and larger-scale productionhelp to reduce plant costs. This is theassumption made in the PIU review, whichpredicted that onshore wind would be around1.5-2.5p/kWh by 2020, with offshore at 2.0-3.0p/kWh.xvIGCC = integrated gasification combined cyclesustainable development commissionWind Power in the UK 41

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